Saturday, September 29, 2012

Until There Was You, by Jessica Scott

Feisty red haired Claire believes you can bend some rules to get the job done.   Then we have Evan Loehr, dubbed Captain America by Claire, who is by the book.  A few years ago they shared a steamy kiss that neither of them has ever been able to forget, and ever since then, they find it hard to be in the same room with one another.  Now, they face each other in the cold winter in Colorado, where they have been sent to prep a company, including a good friend of Claire’s, for deployment.

Evan has a hard and fast rule to never date military women, and Claire has a rotten record in the romance arena.  Both are hiding demons that mostly have nothing to do with war, but has molded them in to the people they are today.  So when they meet again in Colorado at a get together event, neither is thrilled to see each other.  You know, due to that steam factor from a few years ago, that is still thick in the air!  I have to admit, the push and pull of these two is hot and steamy.  There are some great moments of humor thrown in too, with reference to Captain America.
The book revolves around Claire and Evan, learning to trust each other with life situations that have caused them to be so closed off to relationships.  I especially liked the way Evan approached Claire, when he learned of her painful past.  Claire really softened towards Evan when his secret was revealed to her.  It becomes very understandable why these two joined the military, because there they were kept so busy they were able to bury their pasts, and it’s a profession where a lot of people are in and out of your life in a short time.  No time to make lasting friendships, especially where Claire is concerned.

The military aspect sucks you right in too.  It would seem that a few of the higher ups are more concerned with advancing their careers, than properly training their troops for deployment. The training ops are really interesting, most likely due to the author’s own military background.  They play a huge part too, because that is where Evan and Claire disagree, which in the end could bring them down. The training ops were laced with tension,due to the inexperience of the troops. There are a few interesting reveals regarding Lt. Mallory Engle as  well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Secondary characters are wonderfully drawn out.  Sgt. Reza Iaconelli is one of Claire’s dearest friends, and his demon is alcohol.  Reza manages to tie a good one on at the reception, and Evan helps Claire get the all but passed out Reza back to his room.  Evan has great concerns about the seargent’s drinking, and challenges Claire throughout the book to get him in to treatment.  This part with the addiction was well written, giving a very realistic view of dealing with an alcoholic, and why Claire is resistant to pushing Reza too hard. 
Jessica Scott is able to cram a lot in to a short page count book, without leaving out pertinent scenes. .  I was surprised this book didn’t pick up where Because of You left off, but that was not a make or break point for me. This is one of the best military books I have read in a long time. 

Loveswept Contemporary Military Romance
Date Read:  9/17/2012
Publication Date:  10/8/2012
ARC provided by NetGalley for review 
Rating:  4.5 stars

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